Food products shipper Campbell Soup is making a series of supply chain moves in the U.S., Australia and Russia to consolidate plant operations and cut staff.
The Camden, N.J.-based company, whose grocery items include V8 juices and Pepperidge Farm cakes as well as its signature soups, plans to eliminate 770 positions for an annual savings of $60 million starting in its 2012 fiscal year, beginning in August, and will rise to $70 million in fiscal 2014.
Campbell said it is taking actions “to increase supply chain efficiency and reduce overhead costs.” Those include eliminating 130 salaried jobs at its world headquarters, closing a plant in Marshall, Mich., and shifting output of ready-to-serve soups from its plant in Paris, Texas, to facilities in Napoleon, Ohio, and Maxton, N.C. The Paris plant will keep making other soups plus sauces and beverages.
The company operates in a highly competitive industry, in which production costs for energy, canning or other packaging, and distribution expenses can all affect its pricing and market share. The new moves are just the latest for a company that has been intensively improving its supply chain and technology to boost profits.
Denise Morrison, chief operating officer and soon-to-be CEO, said the new steps “will help us continue to lower our costs and help fund our plans to drive the growth of the business. The supply chain initiatives will enable us to improve manufacturing efficiency and further adjust the utilization of our assets to evolving consumer demand.”
Overseas, Campbell is exiting the Russian market altogether, but is exploring growth in China and other emerging markets that hold more promise. It will also invest $40 million over 18 months to automate packaging for its biscuit plant in Virginia, Australia, shedding about 190 jobs subject to union and worker talks.